A bit earlier this morning, Del. David Englin (D-45th; Alexandria/Arlington) sent out an email (see the “flip”) in which he announced that, “earlier today, I submitted to the House Clerk, the Speaker, and Governor McDonnell my resignation from the House of Delegates, effective August 31.” This move follows Englin’s April announcement that he “would not seek another term in elected office in order to focus on rebuilding my marriage and my family.” In addition, in a move that came as somewhat of a surprise (certainly to me), Englin announced this morning that he was supporting Karen Gautney – former “chairwoman of the Alexandria Commission on Human Rights, president of the Alexandria Gay & Lesbian Community Association, and diversity trainer for the domestic violence and sexual assault programs” – for his seat.
Why is Englin’s endorsement of Gautney surprising? Because most observers had expected Englin to support Rob Krupicka, who Englin strongly endorsed for State Senate last year (Krupicka finished second, a bit behind Adam Ebbin in the three-way primary; the other candidate was Libby Garvey, who is now serving on the Arlington County Board).
I spoke with Rob Krupicka a few minutes ago, and he told me his focus in this race will not be on personalities, but 100% on serving the community, on the direction of the district and the state, and on the issues he cares about. Krupicka added that his campaign will stress three things:
1. The need for experienced leadership in Richmond, people who have done the work on education, transportation and a range of issues.
2. A particular focus on education, including the UVA situation, but more generally about his concerns over how privatization is a threat to high-quality public education. As Krupicka said, “The UVA case is a specific one, but it points to a larger issue.”
3. Sustainability issues – environment and transit – which are crucial to our state and to our planet.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and Karen Gautney certainly is impressive, but my strong inclination right now is to support Rob Krupicka for this seat, given his strong experience, his tremendous knowledge of transit and environmental issues, and the fact that he’s a big-time policy wonk (that’s a major compliment, in my view). I’ll certainly be following this race closely, and hope that it stays on the high road – focused on the candidates’ respective visions for the district and the Commonwealth – to the greatest extent possible. We’ll see…
P.S. Arlington School Board member James Lander is also a candidate for this seat.
UPDATE: The Alexandria Times calls this an “abrupt reversal,” writing that “Englin initially told supporters he would serve out the remainder of his term in Richmond, which expires in 2013.”